RE-CORTA, Demolición Técnica, S.L. has been awarded the tender issued by IBERDROLA to make two holes of great length with diamond tooling on reinforced concrete at Villarino Hydropower Plant, situated in Salamanca.
Among the works that IBERDROLA has planned for one of the Villarino’s groups, included is the replacement of two pipe’s, lengths being 4.50 m and 10 “in diameter. To do so requires two holes of 320 mm diameter, introduce new stainless steel piping, and fill in the gap with non-shrink mortar. It is envisaged that the work’s duration will be 14 days.
The Villarino Hydropower Plant is very peculiar. It is located a few miles west, in Villarino de los Aires, hence this infrastructure will also be known as Villarino Jump. La Rachita and Santa Catalina’s villages were built in this town to house the employees. It is a work that that is based on an ingenious idea both in its design and conception and not at all conventional. It is not a common hydroelectric jump where we have a dam and underneath this turbine-alternator groups that produce electric power by harnessing the maximum height between the water level in the reservoir and drainage height of the turbines. It should be noted that in a leap hydroelectric, more important than having a large quantity of water, is that it is available as high as possible, since the electricity is almost proportional to the height from which water can be lowered.
For Almendra-Villarino, turbines are no walk of prey, where a height of 202 m would be achieved.It has a water intake almost in the lower bound and this runs through a tunnel in the rock with a diameter of 7.5 m and 15,000 m long, that goes down to get a height of 410 m, where the turbines are located, near the Villarino de los Aires municipality. This tunnel near the end, forks into two 5 m in diameter and each of these in turn, into two 2.8 m metal, which feed each of the four groups turbine-alternator; draining these in the Aldeadávila dam on the Duero River. This is achieved by obtaining a height of 410 m, with only 8650 ha surface reservoir. Possibly to get that high, in a conventional jump, flooding of half of the provinces of Salamanca and Zamora would have been needed.
Furthermore, turbine-alternator groups are reversible and can operate as a motor-pump and as the Tormes would not be able to operate the plant, during the night, as there is excess energy in the network (due to reducing the consumption and plants like nuclear cannot stop) the plant invests its operation and pumps water from the Aldeadávila (Duero) reservoir at the bottom, to the Almond (Tormes) on top. It is able to reverse the operation (electricity generation – pumping) in a very short space of time. In this way, we take advantage of night energy that otherwise would be lost, as in the morning we have an amount of water in the upper reservoir (Tormes River would not be able to provide) ready to produce power at peak (peak hours).